Cynodon dactylon (devilgrass, common bermudagrass)

description: perennial

place of origin: Africa

urban habitat: commonly found on roadsides, vacant lots, rubble dumps, urban meadows, highway banks and medians, along railroad tracks; tolerant of a wide range of conditions including drought, salt, high and low soil pH, atmospheric pollution, and heavy metals.

ecological function: disturbance-adapted colonizer of bare ground; used for erosion control and to revegetate surface mine spoils; food for wildlife and livestock.

history: Cynodon dactylon was introduced into North America in the mid-1800’s as a pasture grass. It grows throughout the world in warm temperate and tropical areas and many cultivars of this species have been developed that can grow in cooler climates. It is currently considered a noxious weed in many US states particularly in agricultural areas. Bermudagrass has many purported medicinal uses, including as treatment for epilepsy, psychological ailments, headache, hypertension, cancer, diarrhea, dysentery, measles, rubella, snakebite, warts, and kidney problems. The plant also has astringent properties and promotes the healing of wounds. Bermudagrass can cause dermatitis and hayfever in susceptible people.